Province extends pause on lifting of capacity limits in high-risk settings

Extension applies to strip clubs, nightclubs and other higher-risk settings

There will not be a lifting of capacity limits in higher-risk settings such as strip clubs and food or drink establishments with dance facilities such as nightclubs.

The Ontario government announced on Tuesday that in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health it is extending its pause on the lifting of capacity limits in remaining high-risk settings where proof of vaccination is required.

The province said in a statement that this will continue as public health trends are monitored and more is learned about the Omicron variant.

These settings include:

  • food or drink establishments with dance facilities such as nightclubs and wedding receptions in meeting/event spaces where there is dancing;
  • strip clubs; and
  • sex clubs and bathhouses.

“In line with Ontario’s cautious approach to date, as public health and medical experts learn more about the Omicron variant, we are continuing to take a deliberate pause in reopening to protect our hard-fought progress against COVID-19,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “As Ontario continues to take rapid action to protect against COVID-19 and variants, I encourage everyone to get their first, second or booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.”

Later on Tuesday, the province’s Science Advisory Table will release an updated projection of COVID-19 case numbers for the next six to eight weeks.

“While an increase in the number of cases was always expected as we entered the winter months, with the emergence of the Omicron variant we must continue following the measures we have in place that have been working for us,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Over the coming weeks and months, we need to stay the course on reaching those who have not yet been vaccinated. If you have not yet received the vaccine, please do so today and if you are eligible for a booster dose, please book your appointment to provide yourself with an extra layer of protection. Achieving the highest vaccination rates possible remains our best defence against COVID-19 and variants.”

It also appears likely the province’s vaccine passport system will be in place longer than first thought, as the province’s health minister said Monday the rules will be in place for at least the next “several months”